Carol Moseley Braun said she thinks she has what it takes to become the city's next mayor, and so does the group supporting her, Carol for Chicago.
Moseley Braun announced Monday at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago she will start collecting signatures for her nominating petition, calling herself the "almost candidate."
Her team is establishing an exploratory committee, and the decision has not been made officially that Moseley Braun will run. A former ambassador to New Zealand, she lost re-election for the U.S. Senate after one term in 1998.
In a straw poll last week held by a group of African American ministers, Moseley Braun tied for third with Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. among the possible candidates for mayor. Jackson Jr. and his wife, Alderman Sandi Jackson, are both possible candidates for mayor. State Senator Reverend James Meeks was the top pick, while Congressman Danny Davis came in second.
While visiting her alma mater at Robeson High School last week, Moseley Braun, who now runs an organic coffee and tea business, answered a question as to why she wants to run for mayor.
"I have always tried to do the best I can do and to serve the community and the people and the values that I care about," she said.
The number of Latino politicians eyeing the mayor's office is also growing. Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman and 1st Ward Alderman Manny Flores is beginning to gather the 12,500 signatures needed to get on the February ballot. He joins other prominent Latino politicians, including Congressman Luis Gutierrez, who is also interested in the mayoral job, and City Clerk Miguel del Valle, who says he is running.